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Remicade vs Humira

Drug facts and comparison

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Medically reviewed by  Jamie Winn, PharmD

Uses

  • Rheumatoid arthritis in adults
  • Psoriasis arthritis in adults
  • Ankylosing spondylitis in adults
  • Plaque psoriasis in adults
  • Crohn’s disease in adults as well as children ages 6 years and older
  • Moderate to severe ulcerative colitis in adults and children ages 6 years and older
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  • Moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis in adults
  • Moderate to severe active polyarticular (affecting multiple joints) juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children aged two years and older
  • Moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis in adults
  • Active psoriatic arthritis in adults
  • Active ankylosing spondylitis in adults
  • Moderate to severe active ulcerative colitis in adults
  • Moderate to severely active Crohn’s Disease in adults and children aged six years and older
  • Moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) in adults and children aged 12 years and older
  • Uveitis in adults and children aged two years and older
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Summary

Brand name: Remicade
Brand name: Humira
Manufacturer: Janssen Biotech, Inc.
Manufacturer: Abbvie Inc.
Active ingredient: infliximab
Active ingredient: adalimumab
Indication: Rheumatoid arthritis in adults Psoriasis arthritis in adults Ankylosing spondylitis in adults Plaque psoriasis in adults  Crohn’s disease in adults as well as children ages 6 years and older  Moderate to severe ulcerative colitis in adults and children ages 6 years and older
Indication: Moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis in adults Moderate to severe active polyarticular (affecting multiple joints) juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children aged two years and older Moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis in adults Active psoriatic arthritis in adults Active ankylosing spondylitis in adults Moderate to severe active ulcerative colitis in adults Moderate to severely active Crohn’s Disease in adults and children aged six years and older Moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) in adults and children aged 12 years and older Uveitis in adults and children aged two years and older
Frequency of injection: Induction regimen at 0, 2 and 6 weeks, then every 8 weeks
Frequency of injection: Once every 2 weeks
Duration of action: Induction regimen at 0, 2 and 6 weeks, then every 8 weeks
Duration of action: Once every 2 weeks
Injection method: Intravenous infusion
Injection method: Subcutaneous injection

Side Effects

Most common

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Viral infections

More serious

  • Allergic reactions
  • Heart problems
  • Liver and kidney conditions
  • Nervous system conditions
  • Severe skin reactions
  • Certain forms of cancer

Most common

  • Injection site reactions
  • Headaches
  • Skin rashes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Musculoskeletal pain (pain in bones, joints, and nerves)
  • Upper respiratory infections, including sinus infections

More serious

  • Serious allergic reactions to the medication
  • Serious infections, including tuberculosis and sepsis
  • Activation of a hepatitis B infection in people who carry the hepatitis B virus
  • Heart failure or worsening heart failure
  • Liver problems and liver failure

Drug Interactions

Severe Interactions
  • Immunomodulators – abatacept
  • Corticosteroids – betamethasone, cortisone, dexamethasone
  • Antisphychotics – clozapine
  • Immunosuppressants – fingolimod, ozanimod, siponimod
  • DMARDs – leflunomide, teriflunomide
Serious Interactions
  • Statins – atorvastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin
  • Anticonvulsants – carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
  • Benzodiazepines – clonazepam, diazepam, triazolam
  • Calcium channel blockers – amlodipine, felodipine, nifedipine
  • Opioids – hydrocodone, oxycodone
Moderate interactions
  • Zinc preparations – zinc acetate, zinc chloride, zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate
Severe interactions
  • Immunomodulators – abatacept
  • Corticosteroids – betamethasone, cortisone, dexamethasone
  • Antisphychotics – clozapine
  • Immunosuppressants – fingolimod, ozanimod, siponimod
  • DMARDs – leflunomide, teriflunomide
Serious interactions
  • Statins – atorvastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin
  • Anticonvulsants – carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
  • Benzodiazepines – clonazepam, diazepam, triazolam
  • Calcium channel blockers – amlodipine, felodipine, nifedipine
  • Opioids – hydrocodone, oxycodone
Moderate interactions
  • Zinc preparations – zinc acetate, zinc chloride, zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate

Warnings

You should not use Remicade if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient infliximab
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Remicade
  • Are allergic to proteins that come from mice
  • Have had moderate to severe heart failure
  • Have tuberculosis (TB) or another serious infection like pneumonia or sepsis

You should talk to your doctor before using Remicade if you:

  • Have been treated with Remicade before
  • Have any form of infection
  • Have ever lived in or traveled to regions where infections called histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis are common
  • Have ever had tuberculosis (TB) or been in close contact with someone who has
  • Are a carrier of hepatitis B or you have ever had it
  • Have had mild heart failure or any other heart problems
  • Have ever had lymphoma (a type of blood cancer)
  • Have any other type of cancer
  • Have a lung disease called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Are a heavy smoker
  • Have or have ever had a condition that affects your nervous system, like multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Have any fistulae (abnormal skin openings)
  • Have recently had a vaccine, or are due to have one
  • Are scheduled to have an operation or dental procedure
  • Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
  • Are under six years of age
  • Are over 65 years of age

You should not use Humira if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient adalimumab
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients found in Humira
  • Have active tuberculosis or another severe infection
  • Have moderate or severe heart failure
  • Are taking a medication with the active ingredients anakinra or abatacept
  • Are pregnant, but you may be able to breastfeed while taking it

You should talk to your doctor before using Humira if you:

  • Are over 65, as Humira can make it more likely you will get infections
  • Have an infection, or a condition that makes it easier for you to get infections
  • Have infections that keep coming back
  • Have ever had tuberculosis, or if you’ve been in close contact with someone with tuberculosis
  • Have or have had cancer
  • Have traveled to regions where fungal infections are common
  • Have had mild heart failure, or another serious heart condition
  • Have a demyelinating disease, like multiple sclerosis
  • Have the hepatitis B virus (HBV)
  • Are about to have surgery or a dental procedure
  • Are about to have a vaccination

Dosage

5 mg/kg as an intravenous induction regimen at 0, 2, and 6 weeks followed by a maintenance regimen of 5 mg/kg every 8 weeks

10 mg, 20 mg, or 40 mg every other week.

Cost

Remicade intravenous powder for injection 100 mg will cost around $1,200 for 1 powder for injection.

Humira subcutaneous kit (40 mg/0.8 mL) will cost around $6,700 for 2 kits.

 

FAQs

Biologic drugs (also known as biotherapeutics or biopharmaceuticals) are produced by a biological process rather than a chemical process. It is a highly complex process using living organisms, such as modified plant and animal cells. Biologic therapies aim to stimulate or restore the body’s immune system to fight infection and disease. Remicade and Humira are biologic drugs that are used in adults and children to treat inflammatory autoimmune diseases. There are many biologic drug options available to treat these diseases and many factors are taken into consideration when choosing the right biologic such as the type and severity of your disease and your treatment history. Remicade and Humira are two options we will consider today, read on to find out more.

What is Remicade?

Remicade is a medication known as a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor(or anti-TNF). The active ingredient in Remicade is called infliximab and the drug is given by an intravenous infusion. How often you need infusions will depend on your condition.

Remicade is FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved to treat inflammatory autoimmune diseases such as

The medication can also be used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as

What is Humira?

Humira is an immunosuppressant medication classed as a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor containing the active ingredient adalimumab.

Humira is approved by the FDA to treat the following inflammatory autoimmune diseases:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis in adults
  • Active psoriatic arthritis in adults
  • Ankylosing spondylitis in adults
  • Moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in patients who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy in adults
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children aged 2 years and older

Humira is also approved to treat similar non-autoimmune inflammatory diseases:

  • Crohn’s Disease in adults and children aged 6 years and older
  • Ulcerative colitis in adults in adults and children aged two years and older
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa in adults and children aged 12 years and older

How do Remicade and Humira work?

Both drugs work as monoclonal antibodies and, more specifically as TNF blockers, to treat inflammation. TNF alpha (tumor necrosis factor-alpha) is one of a number of different antibodies produced by white blood cells and other parts of the immune system.

Once Remicade or Humira is injected into your body, its active ingredient helps reduce inflammation. Your immune system releases a protein in your body to trigger inflammation called TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor-alpha). The active ingredient attaches to TNF-alpha and stops it from working. This limits the amount of inflammation your immune system can cause.

By reducing inflammation, Remicade and Humira can provide relief from the symptoms of inflammatory diseases. It can also limit the damage they cause and can stop flare-ups from happening.

How do you take Remicade and Humira?

You take Humira by subcutaneous injection (injecting it under your skin) using either a pre-filled syringe or an injectable pen. It is important to use a new needle each time to prevent the risk of infection. You may have injection site reactions such as redness, bruising, or irritation after administration that will settle down after a few hours. Humira can be given at home through an injection. You will be trained on how to self-administer the injection or it could be done with help from a family member or friend.

Remicade, on the other hand, is taken as an intravenous infusion (IV). This is normally carried out in a doctor’s office or in an infusion center that administers medications by IV. Remicade comes as a powder that a healthcare professional mixes with the provided liquid. Next, they add the Remicade solution to a bag of saline. You then receive the medication as an injection directly into your vein over a period of time.

What are the side effects of Remicade and Humira?

As Remicade and Humira belong to the same drug class their side effects are similar.

Common side effects include:

  • Injection site reactions
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sinus infection
  • Headache
  • Joint pain

Serious side effects include:

  • Suppression of the immune system
  • Increased risk of cancer, particularly lymphoma
  • New or worsening heart failure
  • New or worsening psoriasis
  • Allergic reactions
  • Serious infections

Doctors often prescribe methotrexate or corticosteroids with Remicade and Humira increasing your risk for developing a serious infection. This is because all these drugs are immunosuppressants and reduce the ability of your body to fight infections.

In clinical trials, children with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis had certain side effects more often than adults. Your Gastroenterology physician can give you more information.

What drugs interact with Remicade and Humira?

Remicade and Humira have drug interactions with some of the following drugs

Other medical conditions may affect your treatment with Remicade or Humira so you should always seek medical advice from the healthcare professional prescribing your drugs. The drug information provided is intended for reference only and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice.

Are there any biosimilars of Remicade?

Yes. The FDA has approved four biosimilar versions of Remicade, which are Avsola, Inflectra, Ixifi, and Renflexis. No biosimilars for Humira have been launched yet.

Which other biologics drugs are available?

Your healthcare provider has many biologic drugs available to prescribe such as Simponi (golimumab), Cimzia (certolizumab pegol), Enbrel (etanercept), Orencia (abatacept), Kineret (anakinra), and Entyvio (vedolizumab)

Are Remicade and Humira safe to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

The risks and benefits need to be weighed up before prescribing Remicade or Humira to pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. There is currently no research on pregnant and breastfeeding women.

The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.
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